When Sydney Sampson-Webb isn’t spending her hours waitressing at Castle Hill or completing her homework, she is spending time in the kitchen.
“I like baking because food makes people happy,” said Sampson-Webb.
Sampson-Webb is heading to University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee this fall to major in marketing with a certificate in entrepreneurship. After college, she plans to move back to Black River Falls and open a bakery.
“My mom has a lot of space in her art gallery, and that’s right on Main Street, so you get a lot of traffic coming through,” said Sampson-Webb. “We can renovate that and it’s going to be called Syd’s Sweets.”
Sampson-Webb said that people question her coming back to Black River Falls, but that her decision to do so is because she enjoys the small town atmosphere that she’s been around her whole life.
“Everybody kind of knows everybody,” said Sampson-Webb. “I like it around here. I want the big city experience from college, but I feel like I’ll want to come back home.”
Sampson-Webb has been baking her delicious sweets since fourth grade.
“I enjoy her baking, mostly because it comes from her heart,” said Julie Tiedens, teacher at Black River Falls High School. “Because it came from that place, that was what was most valuable to me about her baking.”
Sampson-Webb is inspired by her mom to do what she loves in the kitchen.
“She’s an artist and everybody’s like are you artistic like your mom?” said Sampson-Webb. “I would say I am through cake decorating and stuff. I like art as well, but I’d say baking is my true love, and my passion.”
Sampson-Webb dedicates her Thursday nights to baking and brings the baked goods to Castle Hill the following Friday.
“I don’t know how she has that much time to do that,” said Jared Plaza, math teacher and advisor to Sydney. “It just shows how much she cares.”
Plaza said that he is shocked that she has time to balance school work, waitressing and her passion of baking in order to make people happy.
“It tells me a lot about her,” said Plaza.
Sampson-Webb can easily spend up to six hours in the kitchen, but the time is determined by what she decides to make.
Sampson-Webb enjoys making cakes the most, especially Birthday cakes for her bosses at Castle Hill.
“My boss Carolyne, her Birthday is in December, so I made this cake that looked like a present,” said Sampson-Webb. “And then Mike, my other boss, I made him cheeseburger cupcakes and a big chef uniform cake.”
When it comes to cake decorating, it can take up to two days to make sure it’s perfect. One thing that Sampson-Webb has done in school that contributes to her cake decorating skills is ceramics class.
“You have to knead the fondant before you roll it out and it’s kind of like wedging clay,” said Sampson-Webb. “I just did it because it’s an art class, but it’s kind of interesting how it kind of aligns.”
Sampson-Webb said that she is both excited and sad to graduate, but that she can’t wait to open up her bakery in the future.
“I think that anything she decides to take on, she’ll do well,” said Tiedens. “I think that she’s got a good plan already in place for what she wants to do and where she wants to be.”